Guest Post | Is God Distant?
After a painful good-bye with promises to keep in touch, I climbed into the car and drove away from their lives. For the first two months after we moved, there were video calls every week. After that, however, it turned to phone calls. But those, too, became less and less frequent. Until in a matter of months the only messages were texts from me, as I tried to keep up. At first they were answered, but that became less and less frequent as well. Eventually, I felt like I was nagging my beloved friends. I felt like my messages were just another thing they had to do, and I should maybe send less of those as well. Now, I might hear of their lives from other people, but they don’t really know me anymore.
Now here I am, sitting on the floor or my room, asking God to help me know what to do with my hurt heart and emotions. Nothing very dramatic had happened. My friends had just simply faded away, gradually disappearing. As I poured out these emotions to God, I asked myself and Him, what He would do in my situation. But then it hit me. Hadn’t I done this very thing to God myself?
I would reach a high point in my spiritual walk and get very attached to my King. I would delight in Him, and in the joy I felt in His presence. I would promise to keep in touch. I would promise that once I had to descend from this mountain into the valley again, I would keep on plodding even if I didn’t feel like it. That I would choose to truly delight in Him even if the emotion wasn’t there. And then, maybe I would continue to delight in Him. But after two months, two days, or two hours, conversation moved to the phone calls. Then God was messaging me, but I didn’t reply. Soon spiritual disciplines started to feel like... a chore. A duty. An obligation.
Have you experienced this? Has the awe and wonder of the spiritual mountain become lost in the mundaneness of life? Has God felt distant?
God is still there, waiting for us, for me. But He has given us a free will. He won’t force His company on us if we don’t want it. He loves us. He hurts when we don’t want Him. When we don’t respond to the messages He lovingly gives us. When we turn away from His seeking of us.
We think that He is distant. But He’s really right there waiting for us.
We think that just because we aren’t up on the mountain of a spiritual high, that He’s not right here. But as with my friends, just because we are geographically apart, geographically distant from each other, that doesn’t mean that our friendship has to fall away.
It’s the same with God. Just because we aren’t on a spiritual mountain doesn’t mean that our relationship with God has to fall away. Yes, it will take more effort. But that is where faith is built! In the dryness. If we only had faith when things felt easy, then it wouldn’t be faith at all!
Will you join me in seeking God even in the mundane, everyday life? Even when it isn’t something emotional? Actually, especially in all these seasons?
“Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
~Psalm 37:4 (NIV 84)
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